Last Monday, November 28, 2022 we had a meeting of the Rotary Club Sevilla International. This luncheon took place at the Real Club de Golf, headquarters of the Rotary Club, where almost 60 diners of the Rotary Club of Seville International gathered. The two guest speakers were Carlos Mats, an expert in the metaverse, who spoke about the virtual reality of the Metaverse, and Father Manuel Angel, founder of AFAR (Aid to Abandoned Families of Prisoners), who spoke about his earthly help to those in need.
Rotary is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to carrying out charitable projects and is present in more than 46,000 clubs on 5 continents. The organization was founded in Chicago in 1905 by Paul Harris and has almost 1.5 million members. Its Foundation is the largest NGO in terms of projects, grantees and budget after the Red Cross. One of its most notable achievements is to have virtually eradicated polio worldwide in conjunction with the WHO. The club’s members are mainly businessmen and professionals who share ethical standards and work together to give back to society.
The club would like to thank Juan Carlos Arias, journalist of El Correo de Andalucía for publishing the following article mentioning the event.
Metaverso, solidarity and enthusiasm at Rotary International
A luncheon at a Rotary Club in Seville paired virtual reality with earthly rawness. Two expert speakers, Carlos Mats and Father Manuel Ángel, officiated.
In the capital of La Giralda there are some groups where people learn, fraternize and share. In others there is prayer, drinking and revelry. Several times this Sevillian newspaper has quoted local Rotarians because they belong to the first group. The spirit is to ‘give of oneself before thinking of oneself’, as prophesied by its founder Paul Harris in Chicago in 1905.
Today Rotary International distributes over 46,000 clubs on 5 continents and has almost 1.5 million members. Its Foundation is the NGO with the most projects, scholarship recipients and budget on the planet after the Red Cross. One of its achievements is to virtually eradicate polio in the world, together with the WHO. Thousands of volunteer health workers vaccinate wherever the virus lurks or returns.
About Rotary in Seville there are hoaxes, inventions and misunderstandings about its supposed elitism, being part of Freemasonry or harboring secret rites. Such sambenitos are self-denying. Their offices rotate (hence Rotary) every year and democratically, their events are public, they do not spend anything on venues and their solidarity, including internal accounts, is transparent.
Each club is dominated by professionals and entrepreneurs who fraternize and share ethical standards, both personally and professionally. Their initiatives give back to society what they receive. They promote tolerance, goodwill and peace in the world, and neither Satan nor anyone is sacrificed.
In Seville there are six Clubs in 2022, bringing together almost 250 members. The first one was founded in 1927. It was made up of businessmen, politicians and prominent jurists, such as Minister Manuel Blasco Garzón.
José Gastalver, a notary from Seville, was the first Governor of the Spanish Rotary in the 1930s. The parenthesis of the Franco dictatorship banned Spanish Rotary because that autocracy believed it to be part of a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy.
The present with a future
This week a luncheon at the Real Club de Golf brought together nearly 60 people. The Rotary Club Sevilla International (RCSI). Its President, Ana Garrido -a businesswoman of a reputable ETT-, the RCSI board of directors and her predecessor, the lawyer Antonio Barba, convened the event. Attendance had to be limited due to the avalanche of reservations after the two guest speakers were announced. On the one hand, Carlos Mats would explain the virtuality of the Metaverse. On the other, Father Manuel Ángel would explain his earthly help to those who ask for it without asking for it.
Fran Guillén, engineer, writer and Mairenero apostle of entrepreneurship, introduced his sponsored Mats. Guillén was so eager to hear Mats speak that he passed it on to the audience. Afterwards, the Honduran living in Guatemala proved to know his trade and a lot of value. Conference in Spanish and English-speaking countries revealing that Metaverso, the virtual Internet, is here to stay.
Metaverse, solidarity and enthusiasm at Rotary International.
Attendees at the luncheon.
With fair words, of humble sage with oratory and didactics, Carlos Mats explained that a device projects a virtual twin to navigate and interact with third parties. It is a vivid reality, but not tangible. He adds potentials in artificial intelligence, other languages, data, business and developments in other formats that seem infinite to us.
Mats not only pours his talent into the IKA platform, he rigorously warns that the metaverse is already revolutionizing our lives as much as the cell phone did decades ago. This speaker draws us into his thesis with credible words. Nobody imagined that everything is now behind the screens. Mats gave us the scoop, as Chaves Nogales did with his chronicles.
The father of social orphans
Luis Prieto, a successful businessman and investor with a good sense of smell, introduced a seasoned prison chaplain. His words about Manuel Ángel Cano fell short of the religious man’s courage. In 1987 he created AFAR (Aid to Abandoned Families of Prisoners). This NGO celebrated its 35th anniversary with a staff of professionals who embody hearts of solidarity with those whom no one sees in an increasingly selfish and individualistic society.
The priest did not take the RCSI as a pulpit, he shared words and experiences that only a well-born person pronounces: ‘I receive much, I give everything’. AFAR is a goal of RCSI. It will encourage affiliations and sponsorships to integrate and empower ‘those who nobody wants’, according to Father Manuel Ángel.
Metaverso, solidarity and enthusiasm at Rotary International
Although AFAR began its journey helping thousands of inmates who enjoyed their freedom orphaned of family, work, housing and resources, today the NGO has grown. It has expanded its assistance catalog to different centers in the province of Seville to include the homeless, post-operative patients, drug addicts and addicts. AFAR’s help reaches even those who are moving towards an autonomous life from the emergency of vulnerability.
A day center, social catering, occupational workshops, solidarity events and awareness-raising teaching are AFAR’s helping hand to those who need it. A long list of companies, individuals, volunteers, sponsors and organizations make it possible for the work of a good man to germinate. It corroborates the feminist who regenerated prisons over paternalism. Concepción Arenal repeated: ‘When it is everyone’s fault, it is no one’s’ or ‘Open schools and prisons will be closed’. The phrases relativize the one that greeted the inmates: ‘Hate the crime, pity the delinquent’.
Other RCSI projects
The latest RCSI event, founded in 2019, was yet another success for the Sevillian club after overcoming the vicissitudes of the pandemic. Survival is largely due to the tenacity of Antonio Barba, its first president and founder. Among the diners we saw provincial deputies, Antonio Benjumea (Mayor of Palomares) and Carmen Santa María (Councillor of Gelves), the owner of expoflamenco.com (leading website of the sector outside Spain), the Canadian Mitch Helten plus his inseparable Venezuelan singer Jafelin.
The notary Carmen Loscertales repeated presence along with a large group of entrepreneurs (Ana Llopis, Monje and Muñoz, Sensi and Rocío Sánchez), illustrious lawyers (Bárbara Luna, Manuel Cupé y Marín, Rafael Martín y Casal plus Antonio García-Berbel), consulting, insurance, engineering, technology, university professors and detectives plus Christian Saint-Roman, leader of the Tom Collins Business Club.
A few weeks ago the RCSI sponsored a solidarity cocktail in favor of ENACH (Asociación de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas por Acumulación Cerebral de Hierro en España).
The tenacity of its president Antonio López, plus the unanimous support of the members of the RCSI, raised more than 12,000 euros. Of this, 5,000 was contributed by Banco MEDIOLANUM’s Aproxima program. This money will be used to finance different lines of research into a pathology about which very little is known and whose effects are devastating.
In addition to supporting AFAR and ENACH, this Rotary year the RCSI plans to share synergies with the Mar Pozo Association ‘por la sonrisa de un niño’ (for the smile of a child). This collective improves hospital stays of children with cancer and prevent them from suffering. Also, the RCSI ambassador Sebastián Morales in Hermandad de la Pastora-Capuchinos will repeat contributions so that the letters to the kings of underprivileged children have toys. The program ‘one child one king’ consolidates a necessary project before the imminent Christmas.
The RCSI combines many things without losing horizons. The networking of its events, investments, potential business and professional exchanges are tied to projects that it consumes or supports. In this group, there is a lot of talk and good intentions, with a predominance of shoulders that are built for human causes. This collective practices solidarity, which implies sharing what one has, not charity, which is, after all, giving what is left over.